* Center Square…
A consensus is forming that there needs to be clarifications to the SAFE-T Act set to take effect in Illinois in the new year, but whether any changes will be substantive is still up in the air. […]
During a Springfield City Council meeting this week, city officials heard from lobbyist Art Turner about expectations that lawmakers will return in the fall session as early as the week after the Nov. 8 election to address various issues.
“It’s a lot around implementation, there’s just no real clarity around that and all parties on both sides are able to agree to that point,” Turner said. “I believe that that will be one of the top priorities for the veto session in November or scheduled early December. Then, we’re going to have to work really fast to bring our local clerks and courts and counties up to speed on the adjustments that I anticipate to be made behind it.” […]
State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, who advocates for the law, acknowledged some changes are needed to clarify its implementation. But, he said all parties need to come together in good faith.
“The Democrats are working every day with advocates, with law enforcement to make sure that if there needs to be tweaks, we will tweak them before January,” Ford said. “But we will not roll back the entire SAFE-T Act.”
Former Rep. Art Turner was a major proponent of criminal justice reforms when he was in the House.
* Meanwhile, click here for the background if you need it. From Sen. Don Dewitte…
I read your column on the blog [yesterday]. Needless to say, I’m disappointed in your characterization of my intentions regarding my petition effort. Had you called, I would have gladly referred you back to, and explained in detail, my press release from 2 weeks ago that spelled out my intentions with this petition effort. I’m guessing you chose not to refer back to it for more accurate background, or just never read it to begin with.
My only response at this point would be the following;
1. When given the opportunity, I ALWAYS negotiate in good faith. I challenge you to find anyone in the Capitol (except perhaps Sen. Peters who thinks we’re all a lynch mob) who would suggest otherwise.
2. The comment made to Alice Fabbre at the Daily Herald, was made responding to her reference to a current House bill that calls for a complete repeal of the entire SafeT Act.
My repeal petition is an effort to continue discussions on the problematic aspect of its implementation, based on input received from Police Chiefs, States Attorneys, and the Judiciary, with only Police Chiefs and Sheriffs asked to provide input during the Act’s creation, but were never seriously or responsibly included in negotiations with the Act’s authors.
[Pleasant personal aside redacted.]
I stand by the post.
* Didn’t Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow tell us that eliminating cash bail would bring the “end of days”? From the AP…
More than two dozen people have been charged in Illinois with fraudulently obtaining pandemic relief money, with authorities alleging that some of them were behind bars when they used their relief money to post bond and free themselves from jail.
Joliet Police Chief William Evans said Wednesday that 25 people were part of the alleged fraud scheme to get Paycheck Protection Program checks while not operating actual businesses.
Fifteen of the defendants had been arrested by Wednesday, and arrest warrants were pending for 10 other people. They all face charges including wire fraud, theft and loan fraud, officials said.
Evans said each fraudulently obtained loan was for between $19,000 and $20,000, with the fraud costing taxpayers upwards of $500,000.
Investigators found that some of the defendants were inmates at the Will County Jail in Joliet, a Chicago suburb, when they applied for and received loans through the pandemic program, and then used the money to bond out of jail on their felony cases.
* From a Fox News interview with retired Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy…
“Anybody can just make a complaint against an officer. The department or the investigating body does not have to tell the officer who it is, which hinders their ability to respond to the complaint accurately and honestly. It has a bad effect on morale.”
The police routinely and actively solicit and encourage anonymous tips, including paying cash rewards. I mean, have they never heard of Crimestoppers?
* Truth Test: Will ending cash bail in Illinois cause a rise in crime?: The Illinois GOP added that in New York “as a direct result of the new bail law, 20.1% of ‘felony arraignments’ were rearrested in 2021, with 16.1% failing to appear at arraignment.”’ However, [Insha Rahman, Vice President of Advocacy and Partnerships at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonpartisan, pro-bail reform group in New York City] said the Illinois GOP statement is “inaccurate” and lacks context. She sees it as an attempt to score “cheap points” by “fear-mongering.” “They (the Illinois GOP) didn’t actually name what the appearance rates and rearrest rates were before bail reform, and they didn’t name from what period or how they are picking that data,” Rahman said. “Failing to appear at arraignments is not a measure anyone tracks in NYS (New York state) courts. Arraignment is the first court appearance following an arrest.”
* State’s Attorneys Representing 3 Illinois Counties File Lawsuits Against SAFE-T Act: [ McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally’s] lawsuit also alleges that the SAFE-T Act undermines a constitutional amendment that requires judges to consider a victims’ safety and wellbeing when setting bail. [Sen. Elgie Sims], however, said the SAFE-T Act will make a “marked” difference for victims as some victims’ rights groups have attested to. For example, by ensuring that someone convicted of domestic violence isn’t released just because they’ve got the cash to get out of jail. Sims says these lawsuits are a waste of taxpayer money.
* Jersey County files suit over cash bail change: “We have been working on diplomatic solutions with key legislators to try and fix some of the most dangerous aspects of this act,” he said. “Lawmakers need to understand we prefer to work together on a legislative fix.”